For the second straight week Bibb County overcame a double-digit deficit to win a football game, but last Friday’s victory held much more weight.

The Choctaws finished second in Class 5A, Region 3 last year behind Demopolis, which had won 32 straight region games entering Friday night, the longest active streak in the Alabama High School Athletic Association.

The Choctaws had also lost to Demopolis nine times in a row dating back to 1998, so when Demopolis returned a fumble for a touchdown to take a 12-0 lead after three quarters, things seemed bleak — except to fifth-year coach Matt Geohagan.

“We preach to never quit, to take care of the football and to be more physical than the other team,” Geohagan said. “I tell them if you can do those three things, you’ve got a chance to win every single night we step out there.

“We preach if we can get it to the fourth quarter, let’s win the fourth quarter. And that’s what we did.”

Junior running back Deshun Murrell got Bibb County on the board with a 21-yard run early in the fourth quarter. Then, with two minutes on the clock, the Choctaws faced fourth-and-2 from the Demopolis 39-yard line.

Knowing the Tigers defense would likely hone in on Murrell, who finished with 205 yards on 26 carries, the Choctaws’ coaches drew up something different.

While Murrell caught a short toss, tight end Cade Brown blocked, then snuck past a safety and released downfield. Murrell threw to Brown, who outran the defense the rest of the way for a go-ahead touchdown.

“(Murrell) did a good job getting the ball out, [Brown] did a great job not getting caught in traffic, and the offensive line did a great job blocking the play to make sure Deshun had time to get it off,” Geohagan said. “There was 11 players that made that happen; not just one or two.”


Rams rolling

Bibb County wasn’t the only team to take control of its region with an upset win on Friday. Northside, which hasn’t won a region title since 1991, beat defending region champion Fayette County 48-21. Northside had lost all nine prior meetings with the Tigers. Senior John Hutchinson leads the Rams in receiving and rushing, averaging over 140 yards from scrimmage per game.


Greenwave trifecta

For the third week in a row, Gordo defeated a defending region champion that won a playoff game last year. After wins over Class 2A Aliceville, Class 3A Winfield and Class 4A Fayette County, the Greenwave is ranked third in Class 3A in the Alabama Sports Writers Association poll.


Wildcats take down Lions

Berry lost 45-20 to Hubbertville last year but opened its region schedule with a convincing 28-6 win over the Lions on Friday night. The win marks the first time in coach Caleb Hynds’ three-year tenure that the Wildcats have had a winning record.


Stingy Stallions

South Lamar is 2-0 after shutting out Lamar County 28-0 in its season opener and beating Meek 62-0. The Stallions host Berry on Friday. ACA also has not allowed a point and will play at West Blocton on Friday coming off a bye.


Stampede rising

Bryant’s 70-12 victory over Class 6A, Region 4 rival Brookwood set a team record for most points in a game and largest margin of victory. The Stampede has started 3-0 in back-to-back seasons for the first time in school history.


Football stats

The Tuscaloosa News will run football statistics every Thursday. Coaches and/or team statisticians should email cumulative individual and team stats to by 5 p.m. Wednesday.


Player of the week nominations

The Tuscaloosa News will run a Player of the Week story every Monday, which will include honorable mention performances. If coaches want to nominate players, email by 5 p.m. Sunday.